For Ananya Panday "Gehraiyaan" was an learning opportunity and the actor is happy to have evolved as an artiste as well as a person with the film. Directed by Shakun Batra, "Gehraiyaan" is a complex modern relationship drama, also featuring Deepika Padukone, Siddhant Chaturvedi and Dhairya Karwa. The actor, who made foray into movies with 2019's "Student of the Year 2" and went on to feature in "Pati Patni Aur Woh" and "Khaali Peeli", said she always believed that "Gehraiyaan" would be a perfect training ground for her.
"I wanted to work with Shakun and Deepika. I went into the film wanting to learn and absorb as much as I could from people around me -- be it Shakun, Deepika, Dhairya or Siddhant. I wanted to learn as much as I could. I just had a feeling that the film would help me grow as an actor and as a person. I'm happy to see it has changed me," Ananya told PTI in an interview.
With the film, which premiered on Prime Video earlier this month, the actor said she has figured out her process as a performer. "I felt honesty in my performance, that's because I'm growing and I hope to continue growing with every film. But just to be completely present in every scene, being honest, listening to my co-actors and reacting to it as naturally as possible was different. I developed and found my process as an actor," she added.
Ananya, 23, shared that she was "nervous" about playing a layered character like Tia so early on in her career, but the love she has received for her performance has motivated her to make bold decisions. She credits the director for being a constant support and for making her fall in love with the craft of acting.
"I needed to bring that level of maturity and depth that Tia requires, so I was very nervous. But Shakun held my hand through the whole process. He has taught me so much, he has made me fall in love with the craft of acting. I will take all this forward in everything I do."
The film has received mixed reviews, but Ananya is proud of the movie as it has started a conversation, something she believes is a prime motive of any work of art.
"The reactions which we are getting we are so happy that the film is a discussion point. Everyone is talking about it. I believe that's what any art is supposed to do, start a discussion. People have opinions about it and it's great. For me personally, the love Tia is getting and the fact that everyone is finding her relatable and are feeling protective towards her, is really amazing."
Going ahead, the actor said she would like to continue experimenting with her choices. Her future projects include Excel Entertainment-backed "Kho Gaye Hum Kahan", which features her alongside Siddhant and "The White Tiger" breakout Adarsh Gourav, as well as the Vijay Devarakonda-led "Liger", another Dharma Productions film.
"I want to do all kinds of films. I want to evolve and do something different from what I did last. But I would take forward all the lessons I've learnt from "Gehraiyaan", when it comes to honesty and preparation," she said.